THE COMPLEX: New J-Horror from Director of THE RING
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming Japanese movie.
In 1998, director Hideo Nakata stunned audiences with THE RING (リング, Ringu), the acclaimed horror hit that spawned multiples sequels and two American films. He delivered another J-Horror classic with DARK WATER (仄暗い水の底から, Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara, 2002) before moving on to direct KAIDAN (怪談, 2007), DEATH NOTE: L, change the worLd (Lの本当の秘密, L no Hontou no Himitsu, 2008) and THE INCITE MILL －7 DAY DEATH GAME－ (インシテミル ７日間のデス・ゲーム, Inshite Miru: 7-Kakan no Desu Gemu, 2010).
Nakata now returns to J-Horror with THE COMPLEX (クロユリ団地, Kuroyuri Danchi). Described as a tale of terror, madness and despair born from solitude and isolation, the film stars Atsuko Maeda, former lead performer for the girls’ group AKB48.
THE COMPLEX will have its world premiere Sunday, January 27th at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, then open theatrically in Japan in May. Shochiku will be releasing the film in Japan while Nikkatsu is handling international sales. The following press notes and accompanying images are courtesy of Nikkatsu and Shochiku…
An aging apartment complex…
A girl’s haunting nightmare…
More frightening than THE RING. More heart-rending than DARK WATER. His first true horror film in almost a decade, THE COMPLEX marks director Hideo Nakata’s return to the genre he turned into a world phenomena.
As society spearheads into the technological wonderment of the 21st Century, people are becoming more and more detached from the bonds of community. Working from the idea of “a nation of lonely souls,” director Nakata utilizes the unusual architecture of a decaying Japanese housing complex, where buildings come together with an odd, disconcerting symmetry and no one knows exactly who lives next door. Through the use of a commonplace setting, Nakata exploits the ever-present fear within the ordinary, guiding audiences to a climax that will both touch and horrify people the world over.
The Director and Cast
Directing THE COMPLEX is Hideo Nakata. Internationally acclaimed for his groundbreaking films THE RING and DARK WATER, Nakata’s latest marks a return to the less-is-more approach that terrified audiences worldwide and made “J-Horror” a household word. With THE COMPLEX, Nakata once again raises the bar by masterfully interweaving location, character and social concerns into a horrific, visceral experience, reconfirming his position as one of the leading creators of cinematic terror.
Portraying the lead role of Asuka is 21-year old Atsuko Maeda. Maeda is one of the most recognized faces in Japan and Asia today, and her appearance in THE COMPLEX guarantees wide media interest across Asia. She previously appeared in the horror film THE SUICIDE SONG (伝染歌, Densen-uta, 2007).
Playing Shinobu, the cleaning man who fights to keep Asuka out of harm’s way, is Hiroki Narimiya. A stage and screen actor, Narimiya has appeared in hit films such as NANA, AZUMI, Takashi Miike’s ACE ATTORNEY, and THE FLOATING CASTLE.
Nursing student Asuka (Atsuko Maeda) has just moved into an apartment complex with her parents and younger brother. On the first night in her new room, she is awoken by a strange scratching sound coming from the apartment of her neighbor, a reclusive old man who has refused all attempts at communication. Concerned over his well being, Asuka enters his home only to find him dead from malnutrition. Worse, it looks as if he had been trying to claw his way into her room.
Asuka learns that there have been a number of strange deaths in the complex over the years from Shinobu (Hiroki Narimiya), the handyman cleaning up the old man’s apartment. Even the girls at school whisper rumors of it being haunted. When the late night scratching returns, Asuka ventures back into her neighbor’s home and comes face to face with an apparition of the old man!
Panicked by the discovery of her apartment emptied and her family gone, Asuka seeks help from Shinobu, who brings in a spiritualist to exorcise Asuka of the evil surrounding her. However, as she delves into the girl’s predicament, the spiritualist discovers that signs points not to the old man but to a small boy living in the complex with a past as tragic as the one Asuka herself lives in denial of.
Japanese Theatrical Release: May 18, 2013
World Premiere: January 27, 2013 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Running Time: 106 minutes
Atsuko Maeda, Hiroki Narimiya
Masanobu Katsumura, Naomi Nishida, Kanau Tanaka
Masaya Takahashi, Satomi Tezuka
Director: Hideo Nakata
Screenplay: Junya Kato, Ryuta Miyake
Producer: Yuji Ishida
Cinematography: Junichiro Hayashi
Editor: Naoko Aono
Production Design: Kyoko Yakuchi
Sound Design: Masato Yano
Music: Kenji Kawai
Production: The Complex Film Partners
Planning and Production: Nikkatsu Corporation (Nikkatsu 100th Anniversary Work)
Distribution: Shochiku Co., Ltd.
International Sales: Nikkatsu Corporation